Breast Cancer – Diagnostics – Localization of metastases
Scanning for metastases, which is always performed when cancer is detected, is very important for planning further treatment. The lungs and chest are usually X-rayed, scintigraphy (nuclear medicine examination) of the bones is carried out and the liver is examined using ultrasound.
Methods to locate metastases:
Lymphadenectomy may be required to determine if and how many axillary lymph nodes are affected. Today, images of the so-called sentinel lymph nodes are taken using mildly radioactive markers (radioisotopes) and a biopsy of these nodes is performed for this purpose. If the sentinel lymph nodes are not affected, all the other lymph nodes will be spared. Otherwise, up to 10 nodes will have to be removed.